published Friday, July 18th, 2014

Business Briefs: Erlanger among best hospitals

Erlanger among best hospitals

For the fourth consecutive year, Erlanger Health System has been named one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report.

In the magazine's 2014-15 Top Hospitals edition, Erlanger was named "Best Hospital by Metro Area," and ranked in the top 10 "Best Hospitals in Tennessee." Erlanger was also the only local hospital to be recognized for the high performing specialty of nephrology. With the only kidney transplant program in the region, Erlanger is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the program this year.

"As the region's only academic teaching hospital and Level One Trauma Center, we are extremely pleased to have earned this national recognition from U.S. News & World Report for the fourth straight year," Erlanger CEO Kevin Spiegel said.


Old Chicago comes to mall

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom plans to extensively remodel the former Shane's Rib Shack at the Northgate Mall.

The new 4,840-square-foot restaurant plans to open this fall and will feature a spacious patio with exterior bar seating, 14 big screen TVs, 36 Taps, and their exclusive "Dough Room" where guests can get an exclusive "behind-the-scenes" view of Old Chicago chefs preparing fresh made dough daily.

"Old Chicago is excited to join Northgate Mall in its continued growth and expansion with our world-class pizza, great craft beer and a comfortable environment," said Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom Director of Marketing, Mike Shannon.


Wells Fargo cuts 468 Alabama jobs

Wells Fargo is laying off nearly 500 workers from its mortgage servicing team in the Birmingham, Ala., area.

Bank officials said in a statement Thursday that 468 mortgage servicing employees in Homewood and Birmingham are being laid off because fewer home loan customers need payment assistance or are facing foreclosure. Officials say impacted employees are being given a 60-day notice and may be eligible for severance pay depending on how long they've been with the company. Wells Fargo officials say the bank is also providing employees with job counseling and will work to find other opportunities within the company for the laid off employees.

The Birmingham-area layoffs are part of a total 481 positions that are being eliminated nationwide. Birmingham is the headquarters of the bank's mid-south region.


Gas prices dip, to 3-month low

Motorists' pain at the pump eased this week with gasoline prices falling to their lowest level in more than three months, according to national surveys by The GasBuddy.

The nationwide average price of a gallon of gasoline at $3.58 per gallon on Thursday was the lowest since April 8, GasBuddy said. In Chattanooga, the average price of gas is even cheaper at $3.25 per gallon -- 12 cents below the level of a month ago and 11 percent cheaper than the same time a year ago.

Prices have been on a 20 consecutive day streak where the current price was less than or the same as the price from the previous day.


Mortgage rates decline again

Average U.S. mortgage rates declined slightly this week with rates remaining near historic lows.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the nationwide average for a 30-year loan dipped to 4.13 percent, down from 4.15 percent last week. The average for the 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, edged down to 3.23 percent, compared with 3.24 percent last week.

Mortgage rates are below the levels of a year ago, having fallen in recent weeks after climbing last summer when the Federal Reserve began talking about reducing the monthly bond purchases it was making to keep long-term rates low.

Rates on one-year adjustable rate mortgages were 2.39 percent this week, down from 2.40 percent last week, while rates on five-year adjustable rate mortgages were 2.97 percent, down from 2.99 percent last week.


U.S. Xpress sues over lost diapers

Chattanooga-based U.S. Xpress Enterprises has filed a breach of contract lawsuit in Pennsylvania against the Florida-based Phoenix Freight for losing 3,503 boxes of diapers on 40 shrink-wrapped pallets on May 30.

In a lawsuit filed in the federal district court for Eastern Pennsylvania, U.S. Xpress is seeking restitution or the $24,121 refund paid to its client, Proctor & Gamble. The plaintiff says that the brokered contract required Phoenix to pay for any damage to the goods during delivery, including loss of control from theft.

The Chattanooga trucking giant claims the diapers never arrived at the distribution center because the driver lost the shipment when his truck was allegedly stolen in Levittown, Pa. When the stolen trailer was finally recovered, there were not as many diaper pallets.

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